Hey! Are you in a rad band? Do you have a killer solo project? Do you like free stuff? Want to play a cool gig to a big crowd of music industry bigwigs? If you’re nodding your head furiously (or talking to your computer) right now, listen up. The Santa Barbara Independent is teaming up with New Noise for our third annual Downtown Sound battle of the bands, and we’re looking for fresh meat. What’s Downtown Sound? you ask. Let us tell you. Downtown Sound is our yearly search for the best new music in Santa Barbara County. Starting now, we’re asking anyone and everyone making music in S.B. to sign up and send us their bios, pics, and (most importantly) songs. We’ll build your band a profile at independent.com/bands and enter you in to the first round of the Downtown Sound battle. Then, starting Thursday, September 13, we’ll give you seven days to gather the most online votes. Is your interest piqued? Do you wanna know what you can win? Well, read on, my friend.
1. Time in the Spotlight: Once you’ve made it past the online voting round, you’ll play alongside your fellow semifinalists at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club. The top two acts with the most audience votes will move on to the finals, where they’ll play live for the title of Downtown Sound champion. And the gigs don’t stop there. The winning band will score a spot on the bill of this year’s New Noise Music Festival & Conference, slated for November 8-11.
2. Gear, Gear, Gear: What’s a battle of the bands without prizes, right? Right. In years past, our Downtown Sound winners have taken home prize packages that include guitars, gear, recording time, photo shoots, clothing, and gift certificates. And this year, we’re looking to up the ante. If you need new strings, or a whole new ax, we highly encourage you to sign up. As the contest approaches, we’ll be releasing a growing list of sweet swag for the winning artist(s).
3. Meet and Greet: The music biz is all about making connections, and Downtown Sound is a prime opportunity to get your foot in the door. The judges on hand for both the semifinals and finals rounds are an eclectic mix of radio disc jockeys, booking agents, promoters, label owners, and journalists. Make a good impression, and you’re well on your way to radio play, record deals, and some sweet local gigs. Ready to sign up? Visit independent.com/bands to get registered! The submission period ends Friday, September 7, at midnight.